Are you ready for a Challenge? Do you think you can tame the Goat? 2019 will mark the 7th
installation of The Challenge at Goat Hill Park – Driven by Innova, held in
Oceanside, California on May 3-5, 2019.
In 2019 The Challenge is stepping up to A-tier status for the combined
MPO/FPO field with a parallel 2-day B-tier for other Pro and Am players. A minimum of $4,000 in added cash is earmarked
for the Pro side of the tournament, with ample player packs and awards
available for our Ams. And of course,
the coveted “Goat Trophies” for top finishers.
Players choosing to take on the Goat will get a chance to
experience the Par 70, nearly 12,000-foot disc golf layout that winds around
the golf course known as Goat Hill Park.
The “Goat Hill” portion of the venue name tells you most of what you
need to know about the course: it’s
tough, ornery and features lots of hills to chew players up. What isn’t mentioned is the wind – a steady sea
breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean (in view from several holes) that really
picks up in the afternoon, just in time for lead cards. “Park” was add to the name to reflect the
open, inviting, relaxing vibe that embraces the venue. Where else can you see ball golfers and disc
golfers with their dogs on leash beside them as they play 18?
Registration for The Challenge will open on DGU in mid-January and first accommodate DGPT card holders, followed by ratings-based tiers for other Pros. All players will be invited to the Friday evening Welcome and Players Party held on-site at Goat Hill Park, where we’ll make use of the patio area to enjoy disc-themed games, snacks and a sampling of some of San Diego County’s best craft beers. We will have three rounds live MPO/FPO scoring by UDisc and post-production video coverage of the event. If you want to see what Goat Hill Park looks like on video check out CCDG’s recent coverage of the final round of the FLYR Open, available on YouTube.
So as you’re planning your disc golf travel schedule for
2019, include a swing through sunny San Diego to Goat Hill Park. We’re snuggled in between the Glass Blown
Open and the San Francisco Open, ready to host the best in the sport and build
upon the rich disc golf history of Southern California.
I saw this saying on a bumper sticker when the kids and I visited the Marshall Street Disc Golf Pro Shop in Worcester, Mass back in 2008. I bought one of the stickers and put it on my Pilot – I’m now on sticker #3.
I’m a firm believer in visualization and the power of the human mind. We can use it for positive affirmation, visualization and reinforcement…or not. So I work hard to think and plan positively. And that’s what I was doing yesterday out at the Goat. They’re supporting exercise and mental health in a responsible fashion – singles play only at Goat Hill Park Golf Course (or twosomes if you can prove you live under the same roof). You must sign up for a tee time in advance and pay online. No one enters the pro shop. It’s about as good a system as I can imagine in this current climate.
So I went out and played 18 holes, without putting out (save the final hole, for closure). I had hand sanitizer with me in case my disc touched the basket, and I cleaned my putters off with Clorox spray before and after the round.
I used the time to think about the course – how I could improve the layout and make the tournament more interesting for players and viewers…and of course more challenging! Here’s a video I shot describing changes we will be making to tournament hole 6:
The changes to hole 6 are a response to the UDiscLive stats that showed it was the easiest hole versus par in 2019, and because it allows us to bring more trees and elevation change into play. The OB cart path on both sides of the fairway will challenge players to be accurate with their approaches to the basket. This will be a tough par 4.
Hole 13 is a hole I continue to tinker with. I really want to force players to put their drive into play on the tight and hilly golf fairway. There’s a lot of danger if a RHBH thrower lets their drive skip to the left. So I decided to make use of the old dead tree past the golf green. The basket on hole 13 will hang from the tree (tethered of course) with about a 35′ radius island that you must land on in order to putt. The cart path and beyond on the right side of the fairway (from the tee) will be OB, with a drop zone that uses the “Mini-Goat” turf tee pad. I’ll go back out and get a measurement of the hole distance. Here’s a quick video:
The final update I’ll share with you in this post are changes we’re planning on for Hole 16. Last year this turned out to be a bit of a soft par 5 – not many eagles but more birdies than I’d like to see. The big issue with 16 is tightening up the fairway. As we played it previously there wasn’t enough of a premium placed on accuracy off the tee and on the second shot. That’s a shame, because the boundaries of the golf fairway provide a tricky test for ball golfers – if you’ve played or seen the hole you’ll be familiar with the hourglass-like shape of the fairway about 550-650′ off the tee. If you try to stretch your tee shot down the hill the flat ground of the fairway gets narrow, with a steep slope to the right (heading down to hole 2’s “fairway”) and the tree line that divides holes 3 and 16 to the left. So we disc golfers will abide by those limits as well, with OB lines along the tree line on the left (and continuing on with the cart path) and hole 2’s cart path on the right. We will also use the large eucalyptus tree on the right side of the fairway as a mandatory – gotta go left of the tree. That mandatory will become more necessary…since we’re moving the basket back about another 100′ or so, to a small raised area just behind golf green #2. There’s a really cool gate created by two palm trees that leads to this new basket spot. And of course, there’s an OB cart path behind the basket location. Here’s another video that looks at these changes. I didn’t have enough time on the video to show the basket location – watch for that in a future video:
Keep checking our website for The Challenge for future updates. As of this date (3/30/2020) we’re still scheduled for June 5-7, 2020 but that may change. What *won’t* change is our commitment to hold the tournament in 2020 and to make it a fantastic test for disc golfers of all calibers. And you can help! Either by volunteering or by purchasing some of the fundraiser discs, FreakerUSA goat socks or Challenge Me! pins from DiscGolfPins.com. PM Allen Risley through this website, Instagram, Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!
One of the ways we raise the money to hold big, fun, challenging disc golf tournaments is by selling discs (those straw bales on hole #5 aren’t free, you know?). We have a whole series of special-stamp fundraiser discs from our partners at Innova Disc Golf and they are currently for sale! Here’s a list of what we started with – as we run out of certain models we will cross through them. We’ll add some colors and weights to the list as time allows, along with a photo gallery. Most discs are $20, with a few models at $15. Please don’t try to grind us on the price – you’re only making it harder for us to pay for the players party, caddie book, tee signs, player packs, straw bales, miles of pink OB string, etc., etc. Help us make this year’s Challenge bigger and better!
If you would like to purchase one or twenty, contact Allen Risley at email@example.com, or through PM on Facebook or Instagram. If you need to have the disc shipped, shipping costs are extra.
I-Dye Star Corvettes:
Luster Champion TeeBirds:
Flat-top Champion Firebirds:
Echo Star Destroyers:
Splatter Star Destroyers:
Splatter Star Thunderbirds:
Color Glow Champion Roc3s:
Glow JK Pro Aviars:
Glow DX Zephyrs ($15):
Glow DX Sonics ($15, with Garrett Gurthie signature):
Little did I know when I decided to embrace the “Challenge Me!” theme for the 2020 Challenge at Goat Hill Park that this 2020 season would turn out to be such a difficult challenge – not just for running a disc golf tournament but even life in general. COVID-19 has reared its ugly head and we all are left scrambling – some to work or go to school…and some for our lives. I want to send positive energy (and prayers) out to everyone facing difficulties during this unprecedented time.
As for our little disc golf tournament? Well, it’s still on for now. I am proceeding as if we are gong to hold a disc golf tournament at Goat Hill Park on June 5-7, 2020. The management at Goat Hill Park is on board with us. Now we have to see if the COVID-19 virus and the health of our population will be in line with that. As of this writing (Sunday, March 22, 2020) the PDGA has not cancelled events in June. The shelter in place orders from the State of California, San Diego County and the City of Oceanside are open-ended, but if the public health emergency subsides those orders will be rescinded. So while it’s probably VERY optimistic to think we’ll be challenging the Goat on June 5-7, I am proceeding with my planning as if we will be. Worst case scenario is that if the June 5-7 date won’t work we will change to a later date. Goat Hill Park is open to working with us if that comes up. They like hosting big parties.
That being said, if you have registered for The Challenge and want to drop out and get a refund, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll take care of you. But you might want to hold your place in line…
-Allen Risley, Tournament Director, The Challenge at Goat Hill Park
The strongest field in the 7 year history of The Challenge at Goat Hill Park – Driven by Innova descended on Oceanside the weekend of May 3-5, 2019, and when the last putt fell and the post-tournament concert cranked up the volume, Canadian Thomas Gilbert walked away with the championship and the tallest of the Goat trophies, topping a field of 67 Open players in this Disc Golf Pro Tour Test Event. Gilbert strung together rounds of 57, 58 and 59 (rated 1049, 1042 and 1035) for a total of 174 on the par-69 championship Disc Goat layout. These were the hot scores for rounds 1 and 2 and the second-best score for the final round, giving Gilbert a 33-under-par, 5-shot victory over second-place Seppo Paju (28-under, 179) with three more strokes separating Seppo with third-place-tied Kevin Jones and A.J. Risley (25-under, 182).
Long-throwing Jennifer Allen from Phoenix, AZ came out on top of the 5-player pro women’s field, carding a 1001-rated 64 in the first round on her way to a 2-under par 202 total and a dominating 39 throw margin. San Diego local Natalie Brown came on top of the close battle for second place.
Thomas jumped out to a first round lead with that 57, two shots ahead of Seppo and A.J. and then extended his lead by two more throws after round two. His combination of long-bomber distance (Boss, Destroyer) and clutch putting (Yeti Pro Aviar) in the afternoon ocean breeze across all three days was the combination that gave him the win. Gilbert was third in fairway hit percentage (92%), behind only Risley (95%) and Clint Calvin (94%), led the field in Circle 1 in regulation (72%) and was 5th (82%) in Circle 1X putting (Eric Oakley‘s 92% was the best). Full-field results for the 3-day A-Tier event can be found on the PDGA website, with additional stats on both the A-Tier players and the Goat Hill Park course at UDiscLive.com.
One hundred eighty-seven players participated in this year’s Challenge. Along with the Men’s Pro Open and Women’s Pro Open divisions that played three days, winners were crowned in eleven other divisions on the two-day side of the tournament. Those winners are:
Check out complete full-round video coverage of the feature card (Round 1) and lead cards (Round 2 & 3) filmed by Central Coast Disc Golf on our “Check Out the Course” page. Many thanks to Goat Hill Park for their hospitality and to our title sponsor, Innova-Champion Discs for their tremendous support in 2019.
The course rules document, in pdf format, is available for download here. There are three separate pages, each page is appropriate for one of the following tee pad groups:
Blue Tees: MPO
White Tees: FPO, MP40, MP50, MP60, MA1, MA40
Red Tees: FA1, FA2, MA2, MA3, MA50, MA60
All golf greens are OB, play next shot from last spot in-bounds. Over property fence line or driving range screen are OB, play next shot from last spot in-bounds. All sand bunkers are Hazards, play next shot from standard lie in hazard with one stroke penalty. Missed mandatories incur one stroke penalty, play next shot from marked drop zone.
A1 – Friday tee times for MPO/FPO are scheduled to be posted at 5pm Wednesday. Saturday tee times for all other divisions are scheduled to be posted Thursday at 5pm.
Q2 – When do the Pros play on Friday?
A2 – Tee times begin at 8am on Friday for MPO/FPO.
Q3 – When is the Player’s Party?
A3 – Friday from 6-9pm. We will have a Hawaiian BBQ buffet prepared by Chad Fukuda and Z Cafe for all registered players and the unveiling of our “Challenge the Goat Amber” beer from Yellhaus (at a modest price). If you are not a registered player and want to eat, buffet wristbands will be available for $10.
Q4 – I hear we have to pay to come watch. What’s up with that?
A4 – Renting out a golf course for the weekend is not cheap. We’re asking spectators who are being entertained by our event to pitch in a little. No spectator charge on Friday. Saturday and Sunday: $5 per day (includes a beverage ticket) or you can get the 2-day VIP pass, which includes a VIP lanyard/badge, beverage ticket and a tournament-stamp disc from Innova Disc Golf (Jet Black DX Aviar or Glow Champion VRoc).